It’s almost impossible to imagine Lionel Messi playing for a club team that isn’t Barcelona. He’s so synonymous with the club and the shirt that it just wouldn’t look right.
He’s been discussing some of his career plans and what he hopes to do after he retires. A report from Eurosport reported on comments he made to RAC1. They say he considered leaving during his tax scandal in 2017 and also alluded to him wanting to end his career at Newell’s Old Boys in Argentina.
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That doesn’t appear to be the case after reports from Spain seemed to give a clearer indication of his plans:
??”Todavía no hemos hablado con el club de mi renovación. Se hará en cualquier momento. Mi idea es acabar mi carrera acá y terminar viviendo en Barcelona”.
??”Me voy encontrando mejor. Ante el Sevilla empecé pesado y luego se me fueron soltando las piernas. No estoy al 100%”.
— El Primer Palo (@eselprimerpalo) October 9, 2019
He says he still hasn’t spoken to the club about a new contract but his plan is to finish his playing career in Barcelona and intends to live in the city after he retires too.
It’s interesting because the rumours about him ending his career in Argentina have been present for a long time. He moved to Spain at the age of 13 so it would make sense if he wanted to return to play in his homeland as an adult, but this seems to put an end to that.
It will be fascinating to see how long he can continue to play at the top level. He’s 32 so he should start to decline in a physical sense over the next few years. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him take a slightly different role in the team, either as a deep lying centre forward or perhaps deeper in the midfield.
He’s getting close to 850 career appearences for club and country, so it’s fully possible he will be one of those rare players who reaches the 1000 mark.